ECHL: Worcester Railers 2023-24 Season Recap

Rich LeBlanc/InsideTheRink

With the Worcester Railers 2023-24 season ending in heartbreaking fashion on the final weekend of the season, getting shut out in back-to-back games by their rival, the Trois-Rivieres Lions, many fans have questions surrounding the team’s future. This happened for the second straight season. The Railers were the definition of average this season. The team finished with a record of 32-32. They never sustained a good run for long, as they ultimately ran out of gas at the end of the season when it mattered most.

The Railers dealt with a carousel of moving pieces this season, which is pretty common with most ECHL teams. However, the Railers did not build up enough chemistry to reach the Kelly Cup Playoffs. A few things need to change for the Railers to jump over that hurdle, and some fans believe that is a change in the coaching staff, which happened as the team and Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman agreed to mutually part ways. Worcester got dealt a tough hand as well as their captain Anthony Repaci dealt with injuries all season which limited him to only 42 games in which he put up 15 goals and 16 assists for 31 points in 42 points

The Railers saw a few break-out seasons this year on the offensive side of the puck, and those two being forwards Ashton Calder and Blade Jenkins, with the Railers believing there is more of that in the future. Ashton Calder himself played a total of 61 games, where he racked up 23 goals and 35 assists. He averaged 0.95 goals per game with two short-handed goals and one shootout goal, along with four game-winning goals. During their last homestand of the season and at the time, giving the Railers a good shot at the playoffs, he earned player of the week honors. He put up five goals and two assists for a total of seven points against the Maine Mariners. In three games, Calder finished the week with six goals and four assists for 10 points. To accompany him, Blade Jenkins had a phenomenal season as well. He played a total of 56 games this season. He put 24 shots to the back of the net as well as dishing out 31 assists. He averaged 0.73 points per game. Blade Jenkins also was able to put pressure on the net as he finished the season with 214 shots. He ended the game in favor of the Railers this season with two game-winning goals of his own.

On the defensive side of the puck, their leading goaltender was the journeyman John Muse. He played a total of 30 games in the net for the Worcester Railers this season. He went 15-12 with a 2.77 goals-against average. He also had a decent save percentage of 0.911. He had 918 shots against as well as 82 goals against. John Muse is 35 years old, and with his professional career dwindling, he gives the team everything he has whenever he is on the ice. In addition, the Worcester Railers had nine different goalies this season in net to help with the rotation. The team had Henrik Tikkanen, Josh Boyko, Tristan Lennox, Cole Geci, Ken Appleby, Kaden Fulchner, Joe Spagnoli, and Joel Eisenhower. Tikkanen is the most notable name, as he recently signed an ELC with the New York Islanders.

With the 2023-24 season in the rearview mirror, the Worcester Railers look to the 2024-25 season. The team looks to capitalize on the positives and build on that. The team and fans have been waiting for a Kelly Cup Playoff Berth for a while, so The Railers look to make that happen and make a deep run in the playoffs.

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